German Foreign Minister Baerbock Draws Line Between Ukraine and NATO Amid Tensions With Russia
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock dodged a question on Monday about whether Germany, a NATO member, would send troops to eastern Europe to help the alliance scale up presence in response to perceived Russian aggression, saying Ukraine and NATO should be viewed separately.
"In such a critical phase it is extremely important that we make a distinction when considering different measures, and we must make a clear distinction between the NATO territory and Ukraine", the minister told reporters in Brussels.
"As an alliance, we stand in solidarity with Ukraine and, at the same time, we naturally stand together as an alliance, but we should not confuse Ukraine with the alliance's territory," she added.
Baerbock, who spoke ahead of an EU foreign ministers' meeting, said the Europeans and the Americans, as NATO partners, were considering different scenarios for responding to the Ukrainian crisis.
Russia and NATO have accused each other of escalating tensions over Ukraine. The New York Times reported over the weekend that US President Joe Biden was considering sending thousands of troops, as well as warships and military planes to eastern Europe and the Baltics ahead of what US media claim is a looming Russian invasion. Moscow has repeatedly denied plans to invade Ukraine, labelling them a provocation.
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